Conflicting Perspectives – Julius Caesar and the Human Condition

Analyse the ways conflicting perspectives generate diverse and provocative insights.
In your response, make detailed reference to your prescribed text and at least one other related text of your own choosing.
Conflicting perspectives in texts provide a deeper understanding and insight on characters, situations and events. Representations of conflicting perspectives in Shakespeare??™s Julius Caesar, Terry George??™s Hotel Rwanda (2004) (based on true events) and Trent Hayes??™ political commentary ???1st Australian PM ??“ Rudd and Gillard backstabbing coup farce ??“ who are we voting for??? generate insights about the human condition by showing us how perspectives can shift and change due to individuals??™ interaction with the wider world. The representation of conflicting perspectives also generates insights about the extent to which idealism can succeed in the world of politics.
Shakespeare represents Brutus??™s conflicting perspectives of Caesar to show the way in which perspectives are susceptible to manipulation through persuasion. We are first presented with Brutus??™s troubled perspective of Caesar, revealed in a dialogue with Cassius: ???[I fear his acceptance of the crown] yet I love him well.??? The tender word ???love??? conveys Brutus??™s affection for Caesar, and his resulting unwillingness to act against him. After Cassius??™s crafty exploitation of Brutus??™s patriotic values (???There was a Brutus once that would [forbidden the devil himself] to keep his state in Rome / As easily as a king???), we are presented with a conflicting perspective of Brutus as a man convinced that Caesar must be eliminated: ???it must be by his death … [we shall] kill him in his shell.??? The high modality of ???must??™ and the metaphor comparing Caesar to a serpent (a creature that symbolises the opposite of love) shows the extent to which Cassius has altered Brutus??™s perspective. Thus, conflicting perspectives here demonstrate the insight that humans??™ perceptions are always vulnerable to manipulation.
George shows how perspectives can be altered through experience, through the characterisation of Paul Rusesabagina. Paul is first presented as a man whose actions are dedicated to his family??™s safety in the dark times of oppression, but see??™s that he cannot help his neighbours without causing detriment to his family??™s total safety, shown in dialogue between Paul and his wife after Victor is taken away: ???but Victor was a good neighbour??? ???But he is not family. Family is all that matters???. The intimacy created by placing the characters in bed alone can be seen as a stage technique to show Pauls close relation to his wife and family, justifying the statement that he must ???save the favours for his family??™. The absoluteness of ???family is all that matters??? further proves his commitment.
Once Paul is exposed to the reality of the genocide (Hutu soldier: ???Traitor! These [neighbours and family] are Tutsi cockroaches! … Here, shoot them all???), he begins to take responsibility for his neighbours as well as his family, shown when he and the rest of the refugee??™s arrive at the hotel: wife: ???What about our neighbours. What will they do??? Paul (to staff): ???…Please, um, put these guests in two staff rooms???. The assertion of responsibility in his response shows his adoption of the neighbours into his care, which is in direct contrast to his previous perspective that his responsibilities only stretched as far as his immediate family. This perspective expands until he houses over 1000 Hutu and Tutsi refugees in his hotel. Consequently, through the conflicting perspective between Paul??™s initial perspective and his later one, George shows how experience can alter one??™s insight.
Shakespeare explores the tragic nature of rigid political ideals through his conflicting perspectives of the Republic. The initial impression of the Republican conspirators is that extreme measure (a coup d??™etat) was dutifully taken to ensure Rome??™s freedom against a scheming tyrant, shown through the conspirators??™ proclamation of: ???Peace, freedom, liberty???, after they assassinate Julius Caesar. As the plot unfolds, the ironic nature of this statement is revealed, resulting in not only all of their own deaths, but a civil war to take place over the event. The direct contrast between ???peace??? and the war show how actions in the name of a strict belief of ideology can, and mostly are, ultimately futile. Thus, Shakespeare explores the limited extent to which rigid political ideals are subject to in the world of politics.
Hayes further explains the often ironic nature of a coup d??™etat through the differing perceptions expressed through his interpretation of the ALP??™s sudden change of PM. The first view shown is that which justifies the replacement of Rudd: ???We lose a PM because… public has no confidence in him in relation to certain issues…??? The viewpoint is obviously a reasoning as to why a PM change was necessary, shown through superlative word ???no???, referring to the amount of confidence the public had in him. This view is then spun around to show the ironic idiocy of the situation: ???We receive a new PM who is to stand for something different, something better, BUT in the sentiments of her party members, won??™t change anything in relation to policy??¦ Riiiight ??“ try explaining THAT gem of logic to your kids!??? The satirical nature of the comment, coupled with the sarcastic tone of the ???gem??? joke exemplify Hayes??™ awe at the almost nonsensical decision to change to a PM who would change nothing of the policy in fear of offending her fellow party members. Thus, Hayes??™ sheds a satirical light on the ironic nature of a coup d??™etat.
The analyses of these texts show how diverse and insightful ideas about the human condition can emerge from conflicting perspectives explored by authors.

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